DIY Shabby Stenciled Shutters & A Story About the Truth of Things

The latest stencil DIY I did for Paint+Pattern is really two DIYs in one:

  • How to make a rustic shutter
  • How to paint a pretty holiday table centerpiece

Christmas Shutter Centerpiece

Head on over to Paint+Pattern to see the full tutorial.

Here are some in-progress photos to entice you. A base coat of Florence color Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan:

Painting a New-Old Rustic Shutter

It’s a glorious blue! Blue doesn’t really go in my house colors, so there’s rare occasion to use blue.  Here I’m smearing some Olive Chalk Paint all over it. And next, some Country Gray Chalk Paint and Vaseline technique to make chippy paint distressing:

Vaseline Chippy Paint

My favorite part of this project was playing with Modern Masters Metal Effects, where you can make rust and copper verdigris. The color turns before your eyes! I painted black plastic shutter hinges with copper paint then used Modern Masters aging patina solution to make verdigris:

Modern Masters Copper Patina Solution

Copper Verdigris with Modern Masters

Isn’t that copper verdigris cool? And it’s so easy to do!

Next, I stenciled big Christmas ornaments on the shutter with stencils from Royal Design Studio, designed by blogger and Christmas DIY expert Jennifer Rizzo:

Jennifer Rizzo Royal Design Studio Christmas Stencils

Jennifer Rizzo Christmas Stencils for Royal Design Studio

The final result is a shabby shutter Christmas table centerpiece:

Shabby Holiday Shutter Centerpiece

Shabby Shutter Holiday Centerpiece

The reason I built the shutter from scratch with new wood is, I really don’t have time to find real old shutters at vintage and antique shops. And, I’ve removed the shutters off our house and cleaned them before. I know what nastiness lurks on and especially behind them. Even though you can clean old shutters, I’m not sure about putting that on my dining table. So I built shutters — easy! with just wood glue! — from a few pieces of aspen wood from Menards.

For the full DIY tutorial and tips to build the shutters and paint, visit my post at the Paint+Pattern website.

BEHIND THE SCENES

I thought I’d share a few behind scenes pics with you. Because I live near Chicago and had to do this project in an unheated sunroom. It’s the room with the most natural light! But in winter it gets dark for photos by 3:00 in the afternoon so I’m boosting the lights, both with additional lighting and in Photoshop.

So here’s what you see:

What You See

And here’s what I see:

What I See

I could have set up even more lights. Sometimes I’ve worked later in the day with three white lights and additional halogen lights bounced off the ceiling. But I was working fast to get painting done before it got too dark for any photos. That’s winter for ya in the north!

And ohhhh, the sunroom was chilly. And a nice warm room was just within sight …

Cold Room Warm Room

But I can’t photograph in there. Everything photographed in the house under lights turns yellow-orange. You can see the yellow-orange glow here. It can be adjusted in Photoshop to some extent but doesn’t look as good as natural light.

So in the winter I do a fair number of projects in the sunroom, in the cold, and you’d never know it from photos!

While photographing our dining table, I had to be careful with composition because just out of frame are unfinished walls with holes in them! With blue tape waiting to be painted:

Just out of shot

If you look carefully, in the upper left there’s more unpainted walls and blue tape. The dining table is just to the left out of the shot. So this is why photos are cropped close. It didn’t occur to me how difficult it is to photograph the dining room and keep these unfinished walls out of view!

Often in blogs, you see only what we want you to see. We become experts at composition and camouflage. And moving things just out of view. Like cat toys all over the floor. The extra length from 18 feet of garland:

Extra Garland

A better, more ambitious blogger than I would make another blog post out of that garland. Do something beautiful by draping it somewhere. You can tell I have no ideas — “something” “somewhere.” I have a full-time job. This blog is a hobby. So I pooled the garland on the dining table so a cat wouldn’t get into it (they’re trained to stay off the dining table, mostly) and called it a night:

The truth

It sat there like that for three nights and three days. We’re sorta busy so we don’t even go in the dining room most days. I probably shouldn’t be telling you these things. You’re supposed to think blogger lives and homes are perfect. Of course that is never true! On the third day, I finally cut the garland off at the end of the table and moved the pile to the living room. Which is currently getting painted, and maybe painting will be done before Christmas and maybe the garland will wind up draped beautifully, somewhere over something …

Meanwhile, let me distract you with the gorgeous patina on the shutter hinges! I was able to get that done:

Patina Shutter Hinges

(P.S. Please don’t notice the total lack of pretty holiday napkins. If you came here to dine for real, I promise I would find some for you!)

 



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